For this year’s A to Z Blog challenge, I thought I’d draw back the curtain and explore the life and times of a bibliophile. Care to join me?
Okay, so this might be another cliché, particularly for a female writer. I’m not going to apologize for this one either.
I have always been drawn to intelligent people, but that intelligence has to be tempered with a playfulness that borders on innocent. Don’t use big words and expect me to swoon, but if you can use those big words in a way that makes me laugh in delight, or make me want to play, I might pause to slow down a bit.
In Elizabeth Bennet, I found my hitherto unknown sister? Cousin? Aunt? I’m really not sure, but I am certain we must be related somehow. Like “Cousin” Lizzie, I have no use for pretense or posturing. I am more interested in a person’s character than in their bank account, and although I have been deceived by people who have known how to play me, pretending to be someone they are not, I am inclined to give someone the benefit of the doubt. I am more inclined to keep my opinions to myself, like Jane, and it is a significant event indeed when I speak harshly about another person.
I love the subtle ways Austen turns the hearts of her primary characters, and of her readers. The way she shows Jane’s disappointment, and then her joy, the way she paints the irrepressible coquettishness of Lydia, Kitty’s immature disappointment, even Mary’s “too old for her age” seriousness. Jane Austen’s wit and intelligence is on full display in Pride and Prejudice.
To this day, I love intelligent comedy. I love the kind of romance that is willing to sacrifice pride, ego, and reputation in pursuit of the beloved. I love tales of close-knit families, close friends, and the foibles that we all try to hide, but which make us all endearingly human. And I love writers who can combine all of that into timeless, enchanting story. I think that’s what makes for fantastic literature.